Panel Takes Part in Virtual Outreach Workshops with Civil Society Groups in Latin America
The Inspection Panel took part in two virtual workshops this week to inform civil society and community representatives in Latin America about the Panel’s mandate and operations.
The Panel has recently increased its use of virtual workshops as Panel members and staff continue working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 12 , Operations Officer Birgit Kuba joined counterparts at the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) and the independent accountability mechanism (IAM) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in the first of four workshops organized as part of the Responsible Business Conduct in Latin America and the Caribbean program implemented by the International Labour Organization, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The workshop, which was attended by more than 150 representatives of community groups, civil society organizations, government agencies and UN human rights offices from nine countries, dealt with the objectives of independent accountability mechanisms at development banks and their functions. Future sessions will cover IAM cases, what to expect when filing a complaint to the IAMs and possible remedy as a result of filing a complaint. The countries represented were Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Peru.
On May 13, Ms. Kuba joined representatives of CAO and the IDB’s mechanism to present a workshop for approximately 60 representatives from community groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and labor unions from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to explain the operations of the IAMs. Numerous issues were discussed during the event including: what types of harms can communities seek redress for; has the COVID-19 pandemic affected how the mechanisms work in Central America; how can NGOs find out which projects are being funded by the World Bank and IDB in their respective countries; and do the IAMs play a role in trying to prevent project-related harm from occurring. The webinar was co-hosted with four civil society organizations who work in Central America: Guatemala Human Rights Commission, Plataforma Internacional contra la Impunidad, Pan American Development Foundation, and Trocaire.
In April and early May, the Panel held virtual workshops with civil society representatives in South Africa, Namibia, Liberia, Nigeria and Guinea. Please contact the Inspection Panel at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in taking part in a virtual workshop.
The Panel will resume in-person workshops as the pandemic eases and the World Bank permits mission travel.